Wasatch Community Gardens and Utah Open Lands Secure Forever Farm Hub

Wasatch Community Gardens and Utah Open Lands Join Forces To Sustain A Community Resource For Increased Local Food Security

Salt Lake City, UT (February 6, 2024) - Uniting to preserve a community resource supporting increased local food security, Utah Open Lands and Wasatch Community Gardens announce the forever protection of an urban agricultural landscape through a conservation easement in west Salt Lake City.  The groundbreaking project is the result of a unique and longstanding partnership between Utah Open Lands and Wasatch Community Gardens that ensures the future of one of Salt Lake City’s flourishing agrihoods.  In total, approximately 2 acres of valuable regenerative agricultural practices and soil is now safeguarded from the threat of concrete.  The existing structures and central new ‘barn’ will serve as Wasatch Community Gardens' new Farm Hub.

“What Wasatch Community Gardens does for the community is as impressive as what they do for regenerative agriculture,” emphasizes Wendy Fisher, Executive Director of Utah Open Lands.  “Our two organizations share core values surrounding agriculture and increased food resiliency in our communities” continued Fisher.  Food grown at the farm is easily accessible and distributed for free through social service partners and designated free pick areas, as the land is just off a regional trail network.

Dwindling contiguous green space underscores the reality of the anticipated loss of resources necessary to serve community needs.  The value of preserving productive green space during this period of robust development in the Salt Lake Valley is more urgent now than ever.  The new farm location allows Wasatch Community Gardens to deepen its impact to ensure greater food security for members of the community who have been pushed to the margins and for those who are disproportionately affected by limited or no access to fresh healthy food.  The farm also plays a role in expanding the capacity to support farmers and agriculture across Utah through creating sharable models that can be referenced and replicated across the state.

“Utah Open Lands’ expertise in negotiating and nurturing complex land protection efforts is remarkable, and Wasatch Community Gardens has long relied on them as a partner in our work.” said Georgina Griffith-Yates, Executive Director of Wasatch Community Gardens.  Over the past 35 years, Wasatch Community Gardens has evolved, seeking to serve all in the community with access to healthy food and gardening opportunities.  As the cost of land and fresh food continues to rise in our region, our work has become even more vital as more people struggle to access affordable healthy food for their households.” said Yates.

As Utah Open Lands pursues the protection of tens of thousands of acres of agricultural ranch and farm lands, the role of educating generations about where their food comes from is as important as saving the productive lands that keep them fed.  The organization’s recent protection of the Albert Kohler Farm and dairy land includes the continued commitment of the Kohler family toward educating over 700 school district kids and agricultural extension interns and the new Farm Hub project greatly increases educational access to agricultural know-how for youth. 

The partnership between Utah Open Lands and Wasatch Community Gardens  highlights the commitment both organizations have to sustaining community self-reliance and self-sufficiency.  The Farm Hub project affirms the paramount role of agricultural resilience in securing our communities’ collective well-being and the multiple benefits that come from communities with green space.  In a departure from the conventional narrative that often pushes farming away from communities, the Farm Hub project positions agriculture as the heart of the community.  It fosters intimate connections between people, their food, and the farmers who cultivate it.


About Wasatch Community Gardens

Wasatch Community Gardens’ (WCG) mission is to empower people to grow and eat healthy, organic, local food. Since 1989, WCG has provided youth and adults in Salt Lake County with access to land and education for growing and eating fresh produce, while building and nurturing community connections through gardening and healthy food. Annually, over 11,000 community members are served by WCG’s programs, gardens, events, and produce donations, and the majority of program participants are from low- and moderate-income households. 

About Utah Open Lands

For over three decades Utah Open Lands has remained committed to permanently protecting Utah's unique quality of life and natural heritage for future generations.  With over 64,000 acres under our Trust, Utah Open Lands is committed to a vision of land protection that lasts forever and sustains the land which nourishes community. It is a vision that recognizes the generosity of landscapes and the foresight to leave land undeveloped, a promise of safeguarding possibilities for the future.